January 2, 2017
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him’ (Lamentations 3:22-24).
Friend to Friend
So we did sort of a crazy thing recently. You know though when sometimes the crazy thing somehow feels like it just might be the most right and necessary thing?
In our home we have been in the thick of some intentional and hard parenting lately. We had to clear a bedroom of all its contents twice in a week. One of our boys in particular has thrown some pretty nuclear fits here lately, and this momma is slap worn out! And even though my husband and I have thankfully been on the same page with it all, it can still be so easy to get worn out and defeated.
We have sought wise counsel, begun reading some good books, and prayed, and cried, and ALL. THE. THINGS.
After one particularly hard day though, the very next morning the Lord gave us new mercies as He is so graciously in the habit of doing! (Lamentations 3:23) We decided that some one-on-one quality time was in order to be hyper intentional with loving on our little guy and reaching his heart.
We spent family time together in the morning and then my husband and I split up to each take a boy on a date. I got our littlest because we agreed he needed alone time with me the most. After grabbing a burger and meandering through a bookstore, we were on our way home to play Legos. In an effort to avoid holiday traffic, we went a back way home and came to a stop sign right across the street from the Humane Society.
"Hey, wanna go pet puppies?" I asked him, thinking he would say no since he was pretty focused on the Lego plan, but instead I got an enthusiastic YES! In we went. We held every puppy there and were happily leaving when my tender-hearted little fella suddenly said "Let's go see the grown up dogs, they probably need love since no one wants them."
Because our agenda was his for the deciding, we turned around and went to the adult dog section. The loud barking and jumping dogs in a row of kennels set my heart racing into the fat burn zone on my Fitbit, but we started at one end and made our way down the long row. Just as we reached the end, we looked down to see a sweet little white dog with brown spots on her face and a pink nose just sitting there... not barking or jumping. As soon as my son went over to her kennel she rubbed up against his hand and began to lick him. He stayed there squatted down and petting her for probably five minutes or so. There was something about her and something about him with her.
"Ok... let's go" I said after awhile.
"Mom, we should take her outside so she can get some fresh air… and she doesn't have anyone to pet on her, and she is so sweet." Of course you know now what we did.
The moment we went outside, this little dog crawled into my son’s lap and didn’t move for no less than 20 minutes. After awhile, a family with three kids came out and pointed at this cuddly little white dog curled up on my boy. "If you're adopting today please consider her. She is super sweet," I said as I motioned the mother to take the leash.
My son looked at me and reluctantly let them lead her away to play. He wouldn't leave though. He kept watching her and she kept walking back towards him. "You guys need this dog,” I said in an effort to convince the other mom. “We already have 2 dogs and hadn’t planned on another one until our old one passes on.”
Hudson looked up at me and fat tears welled up behind the frames of his glasses. "Whatcha thinking Buddy?" I asked.
"I'm afraid they will want her, but I feel like she is supposed to be my dog and I just feel really super sad about that." He was calm but sad. No fit, no frustration, no entitlement or trying to get his way like we’d been dealing with before... just sure and sad.
The other mom handed him back the leash and said, "Oh, we just started looking and have a lot to do before we get a dog... this will be our first one ever. Besides, for some reason I think maybe she is supposed to be yours."
Something in my spirit said she was right. It was as if the heart of the Father for my son was being exhibited to him in this snuggly little dog. I called my husband, who brought our other son to meet her, and all the while this little dog followed Hudson and sat in his lap and licked his face.
“Lord, I wasn't planning this today! But it feels like it has your hand all over it.” I prayed in my heart as I watched my kids with the dog. I didn't want another puppy to train, and while Hudson has been asking for a "little snuggly dog" for probably a year, this wasn’t the plan for now.
We couldn’t ignore the fact that this dog was 7 months old, already sits on command, is maybe 15 pounds, and white with brown spots. She was kind of everything we all wanted…eventually. His timing is so often different than ours though.
"Well, we need to find a new name," I told my son.
He didn't even pause to think about it. My normally contemplative kid just had a name immediately. "Her name is Sugar mom... because she is white like sugar and also super sweet."
And that was that. We brought her home. And I keep having this feeling that something about this little dog is just what this little boy might need. Something in my heart keeps saying that this part of this particular day was about new mercies for all of us and seeing the Lord loving us all in the ways only He knows.
So maybe we aren't so crazy. I'd like to think maybe we are just learning to look and listen to what the Lord could have even in the unexpected and unplanned pieces of life. Perhaps when the Lord says that His mercies are new each morning, He means that His methods are too if we will be open enough to see them.
Father God, we thank You that YOU are a God who is ever unfolding Your goodness before us. We thank You that Your mercy and kindness is new each day and that Your faithfulness is for all of time. Father we praise You for knowing each of our hearts so intimately that Your love for us comes in so many forms. Lord we ask that You would open our eyes to see Your blessing in the unexpected and our hears to hear Your voice in the places we hadn’t considered. You are a good Father and we thank You for Your faithful and gentle attention to each of our hearts and each of our new days. We love You Lord.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Think about some of times the Lord has spoken to your heart in a place you didn’t expect. Consider what His new mercies have looked like in your life. Has it been a reset of an attitude? A provision you weren’t expecting? Even when you are in a season that can feel hard, are you able to not only wake up with a sense of new mercy but also to look for the ways His grace invades your life in unexpected ways? If a new day holds new mercies, then we can be excited to uncover them along the way in all the hidden places!
More from the Girlfriends
Logan Wolfram would give you full access to her pantry if you lived next door. She is a plate-juggling mom and interior decorator turned writer, speaker, and host of the Allume Conference. She is a passionate leader who desires to see women live fully in Christ. She is a speaker and the author of Curious Faith; Rediscovering Hope in the God of Possibility. Logan and her husband, Jeremy, divide their time between wrangling two inquisitive boys, a 175-pound mastiff named Titan, and a 17 pound mutt named Sugar. They reside in Greenville, South Carolina. Connect more with Logan on her website www.LoganWolfram.com
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Originally published Monday, 02 January 2017.